A short RP with Wyn and B of the Garden… Things came up and so this didn’t play out as long as we’d hoped…
Temptations XV – Gwen
By TeraS and Wyn and B
With trepidation, I slowly pass through the silent columns. The air smells of old, dry paper and dust. It’s here somewhere. I can feel it. But where?
Shelf after shelf, I laboriously search. I’ll spend an eternity here, if need be.
From behind her a voice asked, “Are you looking for the answer to the question of Life… The Universe and Everything?”
A moment later and from behind a nearby bookcase, a woman poked her head around the corner. She had long raven hair in a loose ponytail. She was dressed casually in blue jeans and a red shirt that had printed on it, Yes. I am a Succubi. What’s your excuse?
She would notice a moment after that the little red horns on the woman’s head and the long red tail that, at that moment, was poking a book back into place on a shelf…
Her green eyes sparkled as she pointed towards the other side of the library and added, “The book has Don’t Panicin large friendly letters on the cover… First edition I might add too…”
My jaw drops. Can it be? What people thought were merely tales to pass the night time. If it wasn’t for the tail, I would’ve thought she was a just woman wearing horns.
“No, I’m not looking for the meaning of life. I know the meaning of life. Life is pain,” I say wearily.
My eyes scan the room. “I’m searching for a book that will lessen that pain, make life more bearable.”
She tilted her head to the left and said in reply, “Pain is Life? Odd point of view… But then that has seemed to be part and parcel of most existence isn’t it? You lose and you gain… You have sleepless nights tossing and turning and then… Then something arrives to touch you just when you think life is falling apart…”
She placed a hand on the shelf beside her, a finger rubbing against the spine of a book there as she asked, “Does not growth come from pain?”
A single sheet of paper fluttered down from the upper reaches of the library and landed on B’s halo over his head…
He would of course know that it was Tera’s doing, She always did things like that to him in that oddly teasing way of hers…
The note read, “There is always a need for another point of view… I hope you can see where it is needed… Tera”
“Hm?” B blinked, taking the sheet of paper from its resting place upon his head. “Wha…?” He read the simple message, chuckling a little to himself. With a sigh, he smiled. “Ah, Tera….never a moment’s rest?” he whispered into thin air.
Well, if she wished for his presence once more, he was inclined to oblige her. Letting his Angelic form fade once more into hidden space, B let his eyes fall closed. He had to concentrate only briefly, focus on that one word Tera made plain in her note. Need. Where he was needed.
“Take me there…” He whispered, and felt the floor shift beneath him.
I watch her finger move over the spine of the book. If only life worked that way. Sadly, I shake my head. “There is no someone to stop the pieces from shattering.”
My arm reaches out to touch a book, but barely a breath away, I stop. “Yes, I am looking to grow. I am looking for a way to never be in pain again. Then… Then, perhaps I can be happy.”
Brown eyes meet green, searching. “You think it’s possible, don’t you? For everyone to find their dreams?”
She smiled sort of wistfully and replied, “You can never be without pain my dear… If there is love and happiness in the universe there will always be something to make us remember the good from the bad…”
Her tail twined loosely around her right arm as she answered, “Dreams are for everyone… If we have no dreams within us we are lesser for the loss… But knowing our dream and making it a reality… Ah…. For that… It’s all worthwhile…”
A moment later and B would reappear in the library a short distance from Tera and the woman she was speaking with… It would be simple for B to feel her anguish… And perhaps he would see a way to her heart to help…
B opened his eyes, taking a moment to focus in on the new library section. He smiled a little at Tera, acknowledging her. “Oh, hello again.” He grinned. “I received your message not long ago…it said I was…” He turned to the other woman, gasping suddenly as her mental hurt crashed over his thoughts. His eyes widened some, and his first instinct was to try and cover himself in his wings – which unfortunately were not yet present. “…needed….”
The presence of another person startles me. What was he doing here?
“I have a dream, and here I am, searching for it.”
I gesture towards the newcomer. “Who’s he?”
Tera leaned against the shelves behind her and replied, “A dream is only a dream when it is and not when it’s not…”
Seeing B’s reaction to the woman’s current state of mind and emotions, Tera pushed away from the shelves and moved over to him. Wrapping her tail about his waist, Tera’s left hand moved to hug him. Then Tera said, “This is a very good friend of mine… You could think of him as my sunshine on a cloudy day…”
Tera’s right hand waved in B’s direction as she said, “This is B.”
Then her eyes focused on the woman as she asked, “And you are my dear?”
B blinked, as though coming back to reality, regaining his normal thoughts enough to return Tera’s slight hug. His cheeks glowed a soft pink with a humble blush as Tera introduced him….her ‘sunshine’.
“A pleasure…” He smiled.
“My name is Gwen,” I say, looking warily at the man. Strange that I feel no fear being in her presence, but him… I don’t know who or what he is.
His presence… Her sunshine…? This can not bode well for my search.
I’ve come in search of darkness, not light.
B managed a small smile for her. “A pleasure to meet you, Gwen…” But still, the pure negative energy radiating from her…the suspicion that she directed at him, made him noticeably uncomfortable.
He turned to Tera. “Did…you want me for this? Or…did you want the real me…?” He inquired, with a blush.
Tera continued to look at Gwen as she answered B, “That I think depends on Gwen really…”
She crossed her arms over her chest as her tail swisched behind her, “It appears that she no longer believes in the light… Only sees the dark… She’s come here looking for it… Hoping that it will be the answer to everything…”
She looked at B then and smiled, “Of course we both have an opinion on that…”
Then back to Gwen again, “Assuming of course that you want to hear and see…”
I back up a step, momentarily forgetting there was a bookcase in my way. “The real you?” I ask, wide eyed. His blush makes him look so innocent, so pure. So why do I suddenly feel afraid to see the real him?
“The light has brought me nothing but pain,” I say, holding myself protectively. “Why should I seek it ever again?”
B sighed softly. She didn’t seem likely to listen without knowing his truth. Tera’s tail swished a little, that appendage seeming to have a mind of its own as it patted him reassuringly…
It was a simple way in which he revealed his true nature. Nothing fancy, no shining lights or ghostly choirs heralding him in a spectacular fashion. Slowly, the glittering golden ring of his halo would simply shimmer into existence above his brow, soft white wings spreading from his back; they looked large and strong as he stretched them out behind him, but with an obvious softness and welcoming look of comfort to them.
Those wings gently folded once more, shifting a little as B looked on Gwen with concern and compassion in his warm brown eyes. “Because the light has not stopped seeking you…”
No… It couldn’t be… Yet, here he is, standing before me in all his angelic glory.
“Why here? Why now?” I demand, as shock gives way to anger. “Where the hell were you when my life was being destroyed?!”
B held up a hand, as though to defend himself from the physical onslaught of her angry words. He had heard many such outbursts before. How could he explain to her that he couldn’t have known…that omniscience wasn’t a shared thing among all of the servants? How could he explain that it was not his personal responsibility to oversee her life, that he wasn’t her Guardian?
He couldn’t. And he wouldn’t. This woman did not need excuses, and did not deserve them.
His cheeks reddened with shame, the obvious sadness in his heart shown by the drooping of his wings. He murmured the only answer he could give her. “….I’m sorry….”
Tera’s eyes narrowed slightly as she said to Gwen in a voice just slightly tinged with danger in it, “Do not fault him for your own choices Gwen. You have the gift in your world of free choice. You made your choices and what happened… Did. Do not hold another at fault for your own humanity…”
She sighed a little then and continued, her voice without that note in it from before, “Why is he here? Because he is someone that I care very much about. Why now? Because you decided that you needed to come into my Realm and see if you could find the answer to your needs… So… Here we are… Do you want to rant and scream at him or would you rather that we come to the point and help you?”
Her tail swisched a bit, “Or you can simply turn away from this chance and walk away again… It’s your choice… As it has always been Gwen…”
“I did not blame the light; not until I was told the light has not stopped seeking me,” Gwen told her evenly. “There is neither light nor dark in my life. All there is, is power; the strength to never need any help, never fear any one ever again. That is what I seek. Can I find it here?”
Tera smiled and replied, “Power? That is all that matters? Not love? Not lust? Not hate? Not fear? Not all of the rest of the things that make you who you are Gwen? Are you sure about that? Really sure? If all you want is power I’ll point you to it… But remember something… Desiring power and having power are never the same things when you just have the desire and not the will for it…”
Gaining power can make one lose oneself He quoted mentally, not wanting to play as Tera’s parrot in this regard. Given her disdain of him, he thought it better served to remain silent….but he remained present, as well.
Gwen shook her head sadly. “Why love when it can betray you? Why lust or hate when they can control you?”
She turned away, idly looking at the spines once more. “I know who I am, and what I am. And that person is weak.”
Gwen turned away from them, her hands clenched into fists. “And I don’t want to be that person any more,” she whispered.
B looked at her with slight trepidation. The frustration apparent in Gwen’s words and actions was almost palpable to him. Still, nothing ventured….slowly, with only a bit of hesitation in his movements, B stepped forward, resting a gentle hand on Gwen’s shoulder.
The unexpected touch caused Gwen to stiffen. She didn’t want his sympathy, but she didn’t want to seem any more rude than she already sounded by throwing it off.
Why did it have to be like this, she wanted to cry out. She came here searching for power; power to control her own life, to no longer be at the mercy of another’s whims.
Instead, she found them. An angel and a succubi, an odd pair if she ever saw one.
“I didn’t come here searching for ways to take over the world, or to destroy humanity. I don’t want to hurt anybody.
“I don’t want a heart any more. Is it too much to ask for? Or shall I find a way to make a deal with the Devil himself?”
He blinked, trying to filter through the sensations…hopefully beginning to understand…
As to her request….B shook his head.
“I can grant you neither of those, myself….”
Tera just shook her head a bit, “You don’t want a heart… You’d rather be cold and unfeeling… A statue perhaps? Just something that never wants or needs anything at all?” She pointed her tail upwards, “Medusa spells are two floors up… Row 14 Section 9. Be sure of the pose you’d like for eternity before you open one of the books up…”
Then she pointed her right thumb over her shoulder, “The… Devil… Won’t come here because he knows that this is a place he doesn’t belong… And if you think you have a soul to sell him… My dear yours is quite ashen and spent…”
The Tera asked her, “Why? Why do all of this? Why make your life a living hell for that? Why?”
Gwen smirked at her answer. “I’d rather not be a statue of all eternity, if that’s all right.
“As to the why? Tell me, what is there that makes having a heart worth it? What is there to this life besides pain?
“I’ve tried love. I’ve tried lust. None of it is worth the pain.”
Tera casually waved her left hand in the air beside her, “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If you quit, however, it lasts forever.”
Then her eyes narrowed, “You are not a quitter are you Gwen?”
“I’m not looking to quit. If I was, I would’ve ended my life long ago. I’m looking to live my life, be in control of it.” Gwen casually leaned back against the shelf, and crossed her arms. “Does that sound like quitting to you? If I was a quitter, I wouldn’t be here, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
Tera sighed a bit, “You should really listen to yourself… As a matter of fact… Why don’t you?”
With that, her body began to shift from what she really was into a carbon copy of Gwen. The hair… The eyes… Her stance there among the bookshelves… Tera looked exactly like Gwen in everyway save one…
She had a pair of red horns and a tail…
For a moment stood there, her tail moving behind her slightly and then said to Gwen in her voice, “Can’t you see what you are? And what you should be?”
Anger welled up within her. Was she being mocked? “You think what’s on the outside makes me who I am?” Gwen scowled.
“Or do you think by growing horns and a tail, everything would be better?” she asked, still thinking she was being mocked.
Tired, Gwen sighed. “If you want to tell me something, please. just dispense with the riddles, and say it.”
She shook her head as she returned to her normal… Well for her anyway, look, “Doesn’t work like that Gwen. If I just give you the answer what have you learned? What purpose would it serve? And you know something? If you are going to find the way out, you are going to deal with the questions just like every other person in the universe.”
She ticked off her fingers, “Who am I. What am I. Is this all there is?”
Tera looked at her with sympathy, “It only took me a thousand years to work all of that out.”
And so it came to a close…
<huggles for Wyn>